Trekking Pikey Peak: Day Four – Namkheli to Nagaor Gumba

Goli Gomba on the Pikey Peak Trek

Monasteries and mountains at Goli Gomba… yes there’s always a little man in the way of a good photo (no editing here)

Namkheli’s Good Weather Start to the Trek

A good night’s sleep, a plate full of pancakes, and blue skies outside. I felt happy with my choice not to rush to Nagaor Gumba the day before. The only downside? Stone steps. Yes, there were more of them. Truth be told, if we had gone on yesterday, it would have been a much tougher day today. I usually find day three the toughest.

Mountains on the Pikey Peak Trek

Finally, we get some good mountains on the Pikey Peak Trek

This is actually day three of the actual trekking trek; day one was all driving. I feel sorry for people who book treks, and these companies start counting the trek from the moment they arrive in Kathmandu. Nepali trekking operators seem determined to offer these “package” treks to everyone. I nearly feel like saying, “If a tour operator offers a trek starting in Kathmandu, forget about them.”

It’s mainly big wealthy trekking companies that do this. And these days, post-pandemic, many have taken over smaller firms. The secret sauce in telling many of them apart is this “day one: Kathmandu arrival.” Yes, it’s a blasé statement to make, but it usually ends up being true. Anyway, here we are independently trekking Pikey Peak, so, no worries!

Back to the Steps…

Our thigh-building step routine was broken up by the welcome cushion of forest flat land. Soft leaves underfoot, and as we gazed out over the valley, our first glimpse of mountain peaks were arriving.

This is where the Pikey Peak trek really gears up into its own with this 9-day itinerary. We get to see more The Himalayan mountains to the north were opening up across the top of the treeline. They always make a nice distraction from the hard trekking work that needed to be done.

Mountain View at Goli Gomba

Mountain View at Goli Gomba “tidying” things up

It’s along this route that you will come across many side trails to monasteries, and the like. It’s only in Nagaor Gumba itself that the main one appears.

Goli Gumba’s Mountain View

The first of several Gumbas is to the north of the village. It’s signposted quite well. The impressive Goli Gumba is a pristine whitewashed building with the Everest Mountain range behind it. Not only was the building spotless, but it was also colorfully painted. Bright Tibetan colors adorned the doors, windows, and walls.

Goli Gomba on the Pikey Peak trek

It’s a nice-looking Gomba, and in Nepal, it’s important to be patient (as the little man will eventually move)

Up further is a viewing area filled with prayer flags showing the first true mountain range. It’s a scramble back down to the main trail again. The trail is now relatively flat and enjoyable with the sun beaming down. People on small farms are drying crops, washing clothes, and full of waves. Happy to see strangers passing through.

Forested paths continue along with small temples covered in flags, tika, and offerings. An old moss-covered mani wall shows us the way along this ancient trail.

Arriving into Nagaor Gumba (Ngaur)

We are early again arriving into Ngaur as it is known locally. Or, Nagaor Gumba to the maps. While not as pristine as Goli Gomba, the old thin monastery here has an even nicer mountain backdrop. It’s a good place to set up for the night.

Nagor Gompa

The Nagor Gompa is not so big, but the views are great

Pikey Peak Base camp is only three hours away, and we could easily make it by late afternoon. But our plan was to be prepared. If we arrived tomorrow to base camp, we could easily make it up Pikey Peak and back down by lunch. If we were happy, we could move on. But if it was cloudy, we could simply wait it out at base camp and ascend the next morning.

Little did I know, but I’d be in for a shock at the one thing no so-called guidebooks, trekking books, or trekking agents would ever tell you about Pikey Peak… and it was a massive surprise…


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10 Replies to “Trekking Pikey Peak: Day Four – Namkheli to Nagaor Gumba”

  1. Bonjour David, were there any particular challenges in reaching Nagaor Gumba and were their monks there?

  2. I’ve been reading your entire trek here with much interest. Your insight about trekking companies starting the trek from elsewhere is really helpful. How can one avoid falling into this trap?

    1. Thanks for reading along Sarah. Trekking companies offering treks to Pikey Peak are fond of using the Dhap side. It means more driving than actual trekking. Personally, the Dhap route is not for trekkers only for those wanting to say they’ve been there. If you are after a trekking experience I would ask a trekking company for an itinerary starting in Jiri or Shivalaya. More details are on my online guide to Pikey Peak. Or in my guidebook to Trekking in Nepal.

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